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SpaceX Manufacturing Engineer Interview Questions

Interviews at SpaceX

23 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
83%
13%
4%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
37%
27%
27%
9

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Helpful (8)  

Manufacturing Engineer Interview

Anonymous Employee in Hawthorne, CA
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied through a recruiter. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at SpaceX (Hawthorne, CA) in December 2014.

Interview

I had a couple phone interviews and an extensive on sight interview. I was turned down a couple times, then after gaining more experience I was able to get my foot further in the door. The majority of questions throughout the phone interviews as well as on-sight were directed at my own projects, emphasizing that I was actually responsible for solving the problems that I claimed. They definitely ask more probing questions than any other interviews I've been on. The phone interviews were relatively brief, less than a half an hour, but fairly technical. The on-site was about 6 hours and definitely had some high intensity portions. A tour is followed by a 20 minute presentation about a problem you have solved, then followed by 6-8 one on one interviews. The facilities are extremely impressive so it's easy to get psyched-out, but overall the employees I met were all friendly and respectful. You can always get a year or two more experience and try again with more focused effort so it helped me not to build things up. The recruiter I had was very helpful, definitely gives the impression that he was there to make things go as well as possible. Overall I'm glad I had to put in a lot of work to make the job a reality.

Interview Questions

  • Most questions were about the problems and solutions I had claimed. Many questions seemed to have the goal of proving whether or not I had thought through all aspects and had a good reason for every decision in the process.   1 Answer

Other Interview Reviews for SpaceX

  1. Helpful (3)  

    Manufacturing Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Hawthorne, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at SpaceX (Hawthorne, CA) in October 2014.

    Interview

    I applied online after being referred by a SpaceX employee, and within a week a recruiter called for screening. He asked questions about my resume, knowledge of SpaceX, and went into detail about the position. The recruiter then set up a phone interview with the manager and lead engineer of the team. The phone interviews were done separately, and basically just went more in-depth with my knowledge of manufacturing processes, achievements, and how I could apply that at SpaceX. Shortly after, I was scheduled for an on-site interview.

    Once arriving on-site, I was given a brief tour of their incredible facility. My recruiter wasn't able to answer most of my questions, so the tour was definitely not great. I was then set up in a room to give a technical presentation on the most challenging project that I drove to success. The presentation panel consisted of around 10-12 engineers, managers, and production supervisors. After the presentation, the panel met privately and decided that they wanted to move forward with the one-on-one interviews. The first one-on-one was a lunch interview, which can be a bit difficult/awkward, but the attitude was casual and it went very smoothly. The next 5 or 6 interviews were with a variety of engineers and managers who were all incredibly smart, friendly, and passionate. There were very few if any trick questions... they weren't trying to stump me or see if I was a genius, just making sure I was qualified and a good fit with the team (the way an interview should be).

    I left the interview with a very positive impression, and then the wait began... It took about 4 weeks after the interview before I received an official offer. I believe the majority of the delay was the fault of my first recruiter, who really dragged his feet for a lot of the process. In the middle of the process, he left the company (not sure if he quit or was fired) and I was assigned a new recruiter. From there on out, everything moved much faster. I was asked to re-submit my list of accomplishments, which was reviewed/accepted by SpaceX executives, and then I was offered the job!

    Overall a great experience. The process was long and difficult at times, but well worth it for a shot at working for such a revolutionary company.

    Interview Questions

    • What makes you the part of the top 1% and why should SpaceX hire you?   1 Answer
    • Review this manufacturing drawing - what would you say are some of the challenges of making this part?   1 Answer

  2. Helpful (6)  

    Manufacturing Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hawthorne, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at SpaceX (Hawthorne, CA) in April 2015.

    Interview

    The process begins with a recruiter phone call. The recruiter is interested in your energy level, passion, and interest in the company. Next is the phone interview with the hiring manager and one or two team members. They go down your resume and ask about experiences. It is detailed and probing. They pose hypothetical situations as well, such as if you were in charge of setting up a toy factory from scratch, what would be your approach?
    Next is the in-person presentation. You put together a 15-20 minute presentation on the most difficult technical challenge you have ever faced and how you solved it and what your approach was. Again, there are questions that probe and dig. This is in front of several team members, the recruiter, hiring manager, and hiring manager's boss. If they like what they see, it is on to the one-on -one interviews with everyone you presented to. They ask you brain teasers, math questions, and why you want to work for the company. They ask you about your resume, accomplishments, and more about your presentation.

    Interview Questions

    • Why do you want to work for SpaceX?   1 Answer
  3. Helpful (18)  

    Manufacturing Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at SpaceX.

    Interview

    Process took about 6 weeks. Applied online with only my resume. Received a phone call from a recruiter and they passed my resume around and I was being considered for multiple positions on the production side. First phone call was with the recruiter and they asked basic questions - nothing technical. I think that they just wanted to know if you fitted the basic qualifications and if you were enthusiastic about SpaceX. The phone call lasted about 30 minutes.

    Afterwards, I had phone interviews with different departments and they asked questions more specific about my role at my current employer - again 30 minute calls. The major questions were if you did something significant and the technical aspect of it (i.e. statistical information, issues you have had and how you solved them, what was your role?).

    Got called in for the presentation - which was about a project you worked on and a major problem that you solved and your thought process. Afterwards, went to the one-on-one interviews. Again, asking questions about problems you have solved and more industry specific questions. I thought I was a good fit, but it didn't work out, I'm going to definitely try again.

    Interview Questions

    • If you had a dent in a pressure vessel, how would you repair it?   1 Answer
    • If someone drilled a hole in a pressure vessel too large, what fastener/pin would be used to allow for the same desired fit?   1 Answer
    • GD&T questions: If you had two plates with holes in them (in an array), what control features would you use to ensure that the plates were aligned?   1 Answer
    • If you had 3 light switches and 3 lights in the other room and you could only turn on two at a time, how would you know which switches belonged to which light?   1 Answer
    • If you had a rock on a boat and you dropped the rock into the water, what would happen to the water line?   1 Answer

  4.  

    Manufacturing Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Angeles, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at SpaceX (Los Angeles, CA) in October 2015.

    Interview

    -present one presentation that include problem solving. After than 5 individual interview with 30min each. This is a group exercise where 8-9 personal from different department sits and review your presentation skill, problem solving skill, confidence etc,

    Interview Questions

    • Asked about how manufacturing process of coffee cup.
      Asked about process capability and formulas to calculate process capability.
      Floor design and layout
      Asked about how to manufacture small piece to build a camera system, going through the manufacturing process.   Answer Question

  5.  

    Manufacturing Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hawthorne, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at SpaceX (Hawthorne, CA) in July 2015.

    Interview

    Pretty standard interview process included doing a presentation. Got a great tour of the facilities. We're quick to get back on outcome. I did have to deal with multiple recruiters which was a bit confusing. Overall I would say it was a great experience even though I didn't get the offer.

    Interview Questions


  6. Helpful (2)  

    Manufacturing Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Hawthorne, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 5 weeks. I interviewed at SpaceX (Hawthorne, CA) in December 2015.

    Interview

    The process involved two phone interviews: HR and technical. Surprisingly, due to the approaching holidays, I received immediate feedback after both phone conversations initially to assess my interest in pursuing the role and to schedule an on-site interview. The day of the on-site interview, I was given a tour of the facility by the primary HR contact. I gave a presentation to the panel of 6 people. I was asked specific questions about the project but I also had the challenge of not disclosing proprietary information. After the panel question session, the team left me in the presentation room to discuss moving forward with the one on one interviews. The lunch from the cafeteria was delicious. Several of the interviewers repeated the work environment involves long hours, but everyone was obviously passionate about their work. My on-site interview was scheduled before a major launch and understandably feedback from the on-site interview took a little longer.

    Interview Questions


  7. Helpful (6)  

    Manufacturing Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hawthorne, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at SpaceX (Hawthorne, CA) in January 2016.

    Interview

    I applied online through an employee referral for a different position, but after a phone call with the recruiter, the falcon 9 manufacturing team requested an interview. I had two phone screening interviews. The first was with a manager and lead engineer from the manufacturing group. It was primarily focused on my resume and portfolio that I submitted. Asked questions regarding certain engineering decisions and methods to mass manufacture certain parts. Asked how I'd optimize a certain design by keeping the performance, but reducing the weight of the component. Another question was about the performance effects of adding a certain component to the system. The recruiter calls later saying that they wanted to do an additional technical phone. Interviewed with a structures engineer, similar format. Asked about academic transcript and certain questions about resume and portfolio. Asked why certain fabrication process was chosen and why choose a certain material in our design. Then asked the beam question. I messed up the follow up question by fixating too much on two potential solutions and completely disregarding the third. I did not effectively state my assumptions and that bit me in the butt. I get a call the next day that the team did not want to proceed with my application. I knew by the end of the interview that I would not get the job anyways.

    Interview Questions

    • Given a cantilever beam with a load on the free end, where does the beam fail? Follow up questions regarding that.   2 Answers
  8.  

    Manufacturing Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at SpaceX (Los Angeles, CA) in October 2015.

    Interview

    Phone interview with recruiter, then with direct manager. If you pass they bring you onsite. They treat you to lunch and a tour of the factory before you must give a presentation on your accomplishments in front of a panel ranging from managers to directors. Then each of those present personally interview you 30 minutes at a time.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell us a time when you fought authority to get what you wanted, and benefit the project?   1 Answer

  9. Helpful (2)  

    Manufacturing Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Hawthorne, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at SpaceX (Hawthorne, CA) in February 2016.

    Interview

    After submitting my CV through the company's website I was contacted by the recruitment team within a couple of days to discuss my background. This led to a couple of phone and Skype interviews with members of an interested team.
    Shortly after this, I was flown out to California for a day of face-to-face interviews which involved giving a 20-min presentation on a personal technical achievement, some 1:1 interviews and a tour of the facilities.
    All through the process everybody was extremely friendly and accommodating. The interview day was challenging but very fair and I feel like I learned a lot from the experience.

    Interview Questions

    • Give an example of a time you've led a project and some of the challenges you had to overcome during it?   Answer Question

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